Amazon.com Celestron’s computerized NexStar 130 SLT adds affordable "Go-To" technology to a compact Newtonian reflector telescope. By using mirrors instead of lenses, the Newtonian optics of the NexStar 130 SLT produce an image nearly five times brighter than the NexStar 60 SLT
refractor telescope. The package includes everything except the batteries, and features easy no-tool setup, two good eyepieces, and even includes a student version of "The Sky" planetarium software.
The Newtonian design of the NexStar 130 SLT is optimized to produce bright images over a wide field of view. When I use an optional 32mm Plossl eyepiece, the famous Double Cluster in Perseus looks like a display of celestial fireworks with streamers of stars trailing across the 2 degree field of view. The standard equipment 25mm eyepiece magnifies the image about 26 times, with a wide field of view just right for viewing deep space objects like star clusters or the Orion Nebula.
The included 9mm eyepiece (72x magnification) offers great views of the Lunar disk and globular star clusters like M13. And when I add a 2x Barlow lens
to the 9mm eyepiece for a total magnification of 144x, I can easily see cloud bands on the planet Jupiter and pick up detail in Saturn’s rings.
The NexStar 130 SLT also features Celestron’s patented SkyAlign technology. With SkyAlign I don't need a star chart or a compass to align the telescope, I just enter the date and time then point the telescope at three bright stars. SkyAlign tells me the star names, and allows the telescope to find over 4,000 stars, planets, and galaxies by just pushing a button. The accurate tracking makes it easy to get high power views of the planets, and allowed me to take some great pictures using a Celestron NexImage webcam. I also like the "Two-Star align" and "Solar System align" modes because I can often get the NexStar system up and running while older scopes are still waiting for their alignment stars to appear in he twilight.
Reflector telescopes offer more light gathering power per dollar than any other design, but that value is balanced by the fact that the mirrors may need to be aligned or "collimated" occasionally. Using Celestron’s Collimation Eyepiece
I had no trouble fine tuning the optical alignment, and I was rewarded with sharp views of Lunar craters even when I pushed the magnification up to the theoretical limit of 300x. The other drawback of a computerized telescope, of course, is battery consumption. An optional PowerTank battery is a handy way to power the NexStar 130 SLT, and I like to keep the tripod legs short and observe while seated because this gives me a solid and comfortable view. --Jeff Phillips
- Wide field views
- Computerized go-to tracking
- Light and portable
- Short battery life
- Sensitive to vibration